Just a couple of days ago I came across some statistics that revealed that almost half of the immigrants coming into Canada are Indian citizens. Wow, I thought to myself, a lot of us seem desperate to leave our native country and get here.
Yet despite the charm of Canada, there is one complaint that is almost universal among us Indians moving here. A frequent topic of discussion when we meet, especially us new immigrants, is the topic of the house-help. We simply miss our maids from back home!
Gone are the days when one maid swept into the house and swept it clean, while another came to cook and wash. In fact, gone are the days when you brought home a plumber to repair a leaking tap or asked the carpenter to fix that door that refuses to shut.
Canada is all about DIY. Cook your own food, wash your own utensils, bring up your own kid, put together your own bed, repair your own broken window, vacuum your own car, mow your own lawn and shovel your own snow. Phew!
Life is now an endless series of tasks, and while we’re usually tired to the bone keeping up with these chores, I have to admit there are some advantages to this lifestyle. Over the last few months, I’ve grown physically stronger. I’m more adept at the kitchen, not so much in churning out elaborate meals, but I’ve mastered the art of putting together a healthy meal in ten minutes. We’ve learnt to lift heavy weights, walk long distances and figure out things like changing a door knob.
My toddler too, has moved beyond the phase where he waited for his nanny to clean up after him. He has learnt to put his things in place and more importantly, he’s learnt to keep himself busy without constantly having a paid playmate to entertain him.
People ask me if I regret leaving behind the comforts of my past life. Honestly, I don’t. Not for a minute. I feel less dependent, more empowered, stronger and more capable. I know that I’m learning new skills by the day and that together, my husband and I are setting a good example for our son. He will grow up knowing how to clean the toilet and fix his own meal, things we often don’t learn back in India.
So yes, we do miss our maids, but no, we don’t regret our new way of life. Like many other things we’ve done, this too, is an adventure and one that will stand us in good stead for the rest of our lives.
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.